Will virtual badgery catch on? The art has a long way to go for linguistic maturity

codeacademyFirstLessonAchievementCode Academy Badge    codeacademyWebAchievementcodeacademy Exercises10Achievement

I’ve been badging. Like buses, there were none for ages then they all come at once. I can’t embed my javascript animation on this page but to prove my new found skills here is the code.

var red = [0, 100, 63];
var orange = [40, 100, 60];
var green = [75, 100, 40];
var blue = [196, 77, 55];
var purple = [280, 50, 60];

var myName = “suewatling”;
var letterColors = [red, orange, green]
if(15>5) {bubbleShape = “circle”;
}
else {bubbleShape = “square”;
}
drawName(myName, letterColors);
bounceBubbles()

It was an interactive template so not as clever as it looks. But it does look clever! Here’s a screenshot. Thank you Code Academy for the illusion of skill. Click here for the full animation

Code Academy screenshot of animated name

The language of code intrigues me but this post is about badging. I gained my rewards for working through the first Code Academy lesson. They’re badges but not as I know them; these are PNG images with no metadata. Mozilla woz not ‘ere. Since Doug Belshaw’s visit in December I’ve dug deep into Cloudworks to find my OLDs MOOC site:  DIY Multimedia for Teaching and Learning and made a retrospective claim so my Mozilla Backpack now looks like this.

mozilla backpack

Not much is it? I’m not really a collector. The ultimate question with all collections is what to do with them? The language of badging hasn’t caught on. My Thesaurus only recognises ‘badgers’ as animals or 50 shades of botherance – such as bedevil, beleager, bore, bother, break and bug. I entered ‘badging’ and was asked if I meant bagging, banging or bandaging. The art  of badge collection has a long way to go before it reaches linguistic maturity.

Will virtual badgery catch on? Who can tell. Virtual reality is a slippery substance. There’s a risk a proliferation of badging will dilute their impact and create confusion. When is a badge not a badge? To badge or not to badge? Why badge in the first place? Alternative accreditation is a serious issue. Badging a serious attempt to create an authentic assessment system. But it’s open to people taking advantage and awarding badges here, there and everywhere for all aspects of human endeavour like arriving on time or breathing.  My Code Academy badges were fun but that’s about all. The OLDS MOOC badges may have more credibility but are not fully mobile and can only be shared on Twitter, Google+ and Facebook or through my personal Open Badges URL  I can’t put them where I want them which is my LinkedIn Profile and this WordPress blog.

So I’m relinquishing badge collecting in favour of…….well, I’m not sure. There’s something irresistible about gaining rewards without tears and at least they don’t have nicotine, calories or alcohol units. But like a virtual stamp album, there isn’t the appeal of something you can hold in your hand or stitch on your sleeve or backpack. When badges can be anything you want them to be then – to be honest – who’s really going to be that interested?

mozilla badging

When badges can be anything you want them to be who is going to be interested?

 

End of MOOC week 1; reflection

At the end of week 1 I’ve tried to follow the activities http://www.olds.ac.uk/the-course/week-1 It hasn’t been easy to find a way through the different technologies. This in itself has been an interesting experience. It’s good to step outside your comfort zone and one way to engage with new ways of working is to have a definite task in mind. My proposal is the development of DIY approach to Multimedia. This aligns with an on going project, so OLD with audio and video is relevant to me. My work role is to find ways to support people to use technology for education and I worry that here on OLDsMOOC  I’ve been unable to translate the initial interest in my proposal into a working team. Cloudworks seems unnecessarily complex with too many ways of doing things resulting in information being scattered with no obvious mechanism for pulling it all together and establishing a single communication channel. I’ve tried to understand Cloudworks. My cloud profile and links to my clouds and cloudscape is here http://cloudworks.ac.uk/user/view/4427 

I set up an alternative area for DIY Multimedia on Google Groups, this is here https://groups.google.com/forum/?fromgroups#!forum/olds-mooc-diy-multimedia 

Open education is part of my role at Lincoln. Having just completed a 12 month JISC/HEA OER Change Academy programme, I’d suggest engagement with the philosophy and practice of OER comes before MOOCS.  With OER you can have a more gentle and less public introduction but OER practice requires a sophisticated use of the internet and attention to specific digital literacies and MOOCs even more so. A key issue for me after this first week of OLDsMOOC is how many people may have tried and been defeated by the barrier of the technology. Rather than celebrating the affordances of online learning, this MOOC may have confirmed individual techno-fears and widened existing digital divides rather than helped bridge them. The spectrum of engagement with digital practices is wide. Many late adopters on the far side benefit from scaffolded approaches to increasing their digital confidence. Too often the technology is presented and users left to get on with it; reminiscent of early days of the VLE when attention was paid to the embedding of the technology and systems rather than the changes in practice necessary to shift from face to face to digital ways of working. OLDsMOOC has been a bit like these.

This is my OLDsMOOC story so far. I’ve been trying out MOOCs for some time and blogging about it herehttp://suewatling.blogs.lincoln.ac.uk where there are also OLDsMOOC musings and reflections. I’m looking forward to Week2 and to working with colleagues who have found there way onto the DIY Multimedia Google Group. Those who made initial contact and are still out there – I hope our paths cross again in one way or another.

Having posted this on yet another cloud http://cloudworks.ac.uk/cloud/view/7459 and added it to the Refelction Cloudscape http://cloudworks.ac.uk/cloudscape/view/2787, I’ve applied for my first ever MOOC badge – and am waiting for approval…

Working with teams of staff developing OER for the past year http://oer.lincoln.ac.uk) I find engagement with openess demands a sophisticated understanding of the internet so is useful for developing digital literacies, but also making work freely available under a creative commons licence encourages the revisiting of learning design principles and practices. The smaller scale of OER reduces the massiveness of the MOOC so can be a useful starting point with online design..  

 Afterthoughts

Working with teams of staff developing OER for the past year http://oer.lincoln.ac.uk) I find engagement with openess demands a sophisticated understanding of the internet so is useful for developing digital literacies, but also making work freely available under a creative commons licence encourages the revisiting of learning design principles and practices. The smaller scale of OER reduces the massiveness of the MOOC so can be a useful starting point with online design..
Learning design with multimedia must include attention to accessibility and inclusion. Making sure content is provided in alternative formats is something to be considered at the beginning of the process, e.g. transcripts, captions, subtitles etc, and not bolted on as an after thought at the end (see TechDis for advice and guidance). This process needs to be meaningful otherwise the result becomes tokenistic. See http://suewatling.blogs.lincoln.ac.uk/2013/01/16/tokenistic-captions-on-nss-official-video-2013/ for an example of careless attention to these things!
When designing online learning environments  build in time for induction, finding your way around and making sure everyone in familiar with the channels of communication. This can help people disappearing before the fun begins 🙂
Oh and the ethics of using multimedia – permissions, consent, copyright, health and safety etc…. more on this to follow

MOOC-ing about: Day 5

No weekend break on a MOOC. Activities were scheduled throughout Week 1 and by Day 5 (today) I should have a team, a study circle and be ready to brainstorm. (For anyone cringing at the use of the word brainstorm look here for the latest thinking).

So far I have:

Are you keeping up?  Over on Google Groups I’ve posted a new thread on my proposal https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/olds-mooc-open/xy_0GS1is74; I’ve also tweeted via #OLDSMOOC. I’ve tried to create a Google Hangout and failed so far.

My problem is linking interested people. Already I’ve had an gentle email suggesting some of my responses have been in the wrong place! I’m not sure on MOOC-ing protocols – should I chase people or wait for them to contact me? Up to now I’ve been proactive but have concerns about the time needed to keep on top; as this week goes on there will be even less time available. Actually getting started with the Online Learning Design seems a long way off. I’m still trying to get familiar with the clouds, groups and hangups. It seems unless everyone is in the same place it’s hard to make connections.

For me, the broad range of technology on OLDSMOOC is a barrier. Good learning curve but it replicates what often happens when technically competent people lead those further across on the spectrum of technical confidence. I’m not exiting the MOOC building yet; I think once the group is established with agreed lines of communication then contact with will be quicker and easier – but I haven’t got there yet!

If anyone would like to join my group, I’ve proposed developing a user guide to staff adopting  a DIY approach to using audio and video in their teaching; this will cover the media capture and production and be aimed at the beginner – and my preferred mode of contact remains my work email swatling@lincoln.ac.uk 🙂